Welcome to The Writer's Corner
A Bring Back Milly Production
by Michelle Palmer
Chapter 2: The Proposal
When Lucas got home Friday evening, Mark was fast asleep. He
had sort of hoped Mark would be awake so he could talk to him
about his decision; but it was just as well. Mark needed his
sleep. Lucas, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink. He sat
up in bed and thought on how he was going to ask, first Mark,
then Milly to be his wife. At one point in his restless night,
he stood over Mark and just watched him sleep. If Milly said
yes to his proposal, their lives would change forever. Lucas
prayed Mark would understand.
Lucas finally crawled out of bed the next morning before the sun
was up, realizing he wouldn’t be able to sleep. He yawned as he
started a fire in the stove and pushed the coffee to the front
burner. He smiled. Milly had fixed fresh coffee yesterday and
it was much better than what he made. Of course, a woman had
that way about her. Somehow, things tasted better when they were
prepared by a woman.
When Mark got up later, he saw his father tiredly sitting at the
table. “Did you sleep last night?” Lucas groaned into his cup.
Mark sat down across from his father. “That was quite a
surprise yesterday, wasn’t it?”
“It was a nice surprise.” Lucas turned and looked at Mark.
“Don’t you think?” Mark nodded, but suddenly realized his Pa
wanted to be left to his thoughts. So he quietly ate his
breakfast then went out to do the chores.
Lucas wanted to get through the chores and settle down before he
and Mark talked about Milly. Lucas fixed Mark breakfast, but
the way his stomach was feeling this morning, Lucas knew he
wouldn’t be able to eat. Mark questioned him on how he was
feeling, but Lucas just shook his head. He told Mark to work on
the planting while he made repairs on the roof.
Another April would be upon them in just a couple short weeks.
Lucas remembered back to a year ago when he had to say goodbye
to Milly. He had no idea this day would come.
Over the year, he and Milly had written back and forth. He’d
told Milly all about the struggles he and Mark went through. He
and Milly had spoken more about their feelings in the letters
than they ever said face-to-face. There was something magical
about the written word – you can easily speak words on paper
that can just not be found through the mouth. Lucas had stared
at the paper when he wrote the words “I love you.” He’d
suspected it for a long time, but when he saw the words on the
After the roof was repaired, Lucas climbed down the ladder and
put it back in the barn. He turned and looked at Mark, still
working hard with the planting. He was about to burst if he
didn’t talk to Mark about him and Milly. Lucas was a bit
nervous as he wondered just how Mark would take his proposal.
Lucas decided to take his boy fishing. That would make talking
easier – at least for him. So he hurried in the house and
grabbed the sandwiches he’d made earlier. Then he hurried to
the barn and retrieved the fishing poles. “Come on, son. Let’s
go fishing,” he hollered toward his son.
“Huh?” Mark stood up and brushed off his jeans as he stood in
the middle of the garden. Mark couldn’t help looking at his
father as if he’d just gone loco. They had a lot of work to do
on the ranch, yet Lucas wanted to go fishing? “Fishing when
there’s so much work to do?” Mark asked as he put his hands on
his hips and walked toward his father. “Pa, you’ve got it bad!”
Lucas narrowed his eyes as he looked down at his son through
narrow slits. Mark cleared his throat. “I mean…Okay.”
Mark studied his father as they walked to the pond. He seemed
nervous about something. As Mark tried to make small talk,
Lucas just grunted in response every once in a while. It didn’t
take Mark long to realize that he hadn’t heard a word he had
said. Finally, Mark grabbed his father’s elbow. “Is this about
Milly?” Lucas stopped and turned toward him. He silently
nodded his head. “Is something wrong?” Mark suddenly panicked.
Seeing Milly yesterday had warmed his heart. He was hoping
they’d be welcoming her into the family soon. But now he was
Lucas motioned toward the pond. “Let’s just get to fishing,
After they were settled with their poles in the water, Lucas
turned and looked at Mark. He cleared his throat, still very
nervous, as he spoke. “Your mother and I grew up together. Did
you know that?” Mark nodded. He’d heard enough stories over the
years to know just about everything about his mother. “But it
wasn’t until after the war that I realized…Well, I guess that’s
not true but when I came back and found my parents gone and
Margaret there…I just ran away…sort of like what Milly did –
except it was opposite. Milly ran away and came here then had
to go back. I came home and ran away only to return.” Lucas’s
voice shook, he was so nervous. He felt as if he was asking
Milly’s father for her hand in marriage instead of his son.
“And when you got there, Ma was waiting for you!” Mark declared.
Lucas laughed, relieved to be able to joke at a time like this.
“Well…not exactly, son. But the day I married your mother was
the happiest day of my whole life, and that’s the truth.” Lucas
shook his head as he stared into the water. “There will NEVER
be a happier day.” He knew Margaret would always hold a special
place in his heart, and he knew Milly would accept that.
Mark heard just a hint of hesitation in his father’s voice. He
turned and looked at Lucas. “You love Milly, don’t you?” Mark
knew he didn’t need an answer, but he had a feeling that’s where
the conversation was headed.
Lucas turned and looked at his son. That was a good way to
break the ice. “I guess I’ve loved her for a long time, son.
Through these past months I’ve been able to…” Lucas stopped.
He turned and looked at Mark. “I’ve finally come to peace that
your mother passed. And I’ve come to understand that, maybe…God
sent Milly to help me love again.”
“I understand, Pa.”
“Seeing Milly again, son…It’s made me think on things and…I want
to…to marry her.” Lucas kept his gaze focused on Mark. He
almost expected Mark to become upset. After all, Mark’s loved
his mother for so long that it would be only natural if he
didn’t want to replace her. Lucas was all prepared with a
speech he’d rehearsed during the sleepless night. He was
willing to explain to Mark that he wasn’t replacing his
mother…He was just filling an empty space in his life with a
woman he loved – a woman God had sent to him.
But as it turned out, he had no reason to worry. Because as
soon as the words left his mouth, a giant smile spread across
Mark’s face. He just stared back at Lucas. His eyes sparkled
with happiness. Lucas waited, but Mark never said anything.
“Well…do you have anything to say?”
“Yes.” Mark nodded. “It’s about time!”
Lucas’s eyes filled with tears and his heart jumped. “Really?”
Mark nodded. “You know I still love your mother, son. I mean
nobody could ever…” Lucas felt he needed to explain even though
Mark was happy about his decision.
Mark turned toward his father. He felt he needed to convince
his Pa that he had his permission. “I love Milly like a mother,
Pa. Of course she’s not the mother that gave birth to me, but
that doesn’t matter. I’ve lived more without my Ma, than with
her. I do miss my real Ma, Pa, but…I think it’s these months
Milly’s been gone…I’ve missed her almost as bad as I missed my
ma after she died, but I’ve kept quiet about it because I saw
the hurt in your eyes when she left. I knew you loved her even
then I watched you read her letters and I saw the love in your
eyes. I could tell you loved her.” Mark put a hand on his
father’s arm. “Pa, if it’s my consent you’re wanting, you got
it.” Lucas stayed quiet the whole time his son spoke. His eyes
filled with tears. He knew that today they were closing a
chapter on their life and getting ready to open a new one. He
knew they were both ready.
But still, Lucas felt he had to explain himself. “I know it’s
fast, Mark. I mean…she just got back into town yesterday…but…I
know in my heart that I want to marry her.” Lucas smiled.
“I’ve known that long before yesterday,” he whispered.
Mark smiled. “Then I think you should, Pa. I think you should
ask her to become your wife.” Lucas and Mark gazed at each
other. “I think we’re both ready for this.”
Father and son turned back toward the pond and lifted their
poles. There were no worms on their hooks.
Lou took a sip of her coffee as she studied Milly. “What have
you done in the past? I mean besides storekeeping.”
“Well, I was a teacher, and I loved it.” Milly took another sip
of her coffee. “But Mr. Griswald is a wonderful teacher, and I
don’t see him leaving North Fork.”
“Your right.” Lou smiled. Then she stood up and walked to the
window. “However…the school is growing. I heard rumors that
the school board may be looking for an assistant.” Lou turned
and smiled into her cup. “You can always ask him.”
Milly smiled. She had enjoyed her time with the children when
she was a teacher. There was something really special about
teaching children and watching them learn. “I just may do
that.” Milly smiled as she stood from the table and walked over
to stand beside Lou. “Oh, it feels so good to be back!”
Lou could hear the joy in her voice. They both stood toward the
window looking out, but Lou turned her head toward Milly. “Ye
love him.” Lou smiled. “Don’t ye?”
Milly smiled. She found herself warming to Lou. She felt they
would soon become really good friends. “You know, I’ve only met
you, yet from Lucas's letters I feel I know you so well.” Lou
sat down her coffee cup and turned to look at Milly. Milly had
to ask the question. She had to know where they stood as far as
Lucas was concerned. “How do you feel about him?” She asked
“Honestly?” Milly nodded. “I have feelings for him. I know he
told you that we spent time together as a…couple?” Milly nodded
again. “Before we started seeing each other, he made it very
clear that his heart belonged to you.” Milly gasped. She
certainly wished she had been let in on that little secret! Of
course, from reading his letters, she suspected it. “Oh, not in
so many words!” Lou declared suddenly. “But his heart…his
eyes…they told me.” Lou sighed. “I think that sometimes when a
man feels lonely, he doesn’t know how to deal with it. He
leaned on me…maybe too much…and maybe I started feeling more
than I should have.” Lou smiled. “But Milly, Lucas is a
gentleman. He sat me down one night and told me he was in love
with you. He told me we couldn’t continue to…” Lou stopped.
Lou shook her head. “Don’t be.” She reached out and touched
Milly’s arm. “Oh, he loves ye, and he deserves to be with the
one he loves. I want to see him happy.” Lou smiled. “He is a
wonderful man.” Then she winked at Milly. “But don’t ever tell
him I told you that! It would ruin his image of me.”
“Thank you.” Milly smiled. “Your approval means a great deal
to me, you know.” Milly sat down her coffee cup and went to
look out the back door. “After all…I lost all my rights to him
when I got on that stagecoach and rode out of North Fork.”
“No.” Lou shook her head and walked over to Milly. “You still
had his heart. He still belonged to you.” Lou smiled. “Though
he was able to give me a small piece of it for a time, and I’ll
always cherish the memories.” Milly smiled. Lou silently
studied Milly’s face. Then she knew the truth. “Ye want to
Milly’s eyes widened. She felt as if Lou had just looked into
her heart. She said nothing as she sat down her cup and hurried
across the room. “I best get changed. I want to go talk to Mr.
Milly smiled as the door to Mr. Griswald’s room at the boarding
house opened. As he looked at her, she waited for recognition
to cross his face. “Milly!” Steven smiled. “Milly Scott, come
on in!” He moved aside and motioned for her to take a seat at
the small table. “I was just about to have some hot tea. Would
you like some?”
“Yes, please!” Milly answered with a smile. She waited to speak
any further until they were both seated drinking tea. “I’ve
come to talk to you about a job.” Mr. Griswald’s eyebrows went
up. “I’ve come home and I want to re-settle here. I was
talking to Lou Mallory this morning, and she said she had heard
that you needed an assistant.”
“More than an assistant, I’m afraid.” Mr. Griswald frowned.
“There are several families who have moved here recently.
North Fork is growing rapidly, and I just don’t have room for
all the children. I teach as many as I can, and have put older
children with the younger children to work together, but…I’m
afraid everyone’s academic studies are being affected.” Mr.
Griswald sighed into his cup. “I’m afraid it’s gotten worse.
Last week…I had to turn some children away. I just don’t have
the room or the capability to teach so many children.”
It broke Milly’s heart to hear of such a state. She felt
strongly that every child – girl and boy, from age 6 to 18,
needed a good, solid education. Times were rapidly changing.
Already in the East, they had laws set in place requiring every
child to be in school. It was only a matter of time before
those laws came to New Mexico Territory – especially after it
was welcomed into the union as a state. “So you need another
full time teacher?” Milly asked hopefully.
“Yes. I DO need another full time teacher, and that’s the
truth.” Steven sat down his cup and sighed. “Only…what I need,
and what North Fork can afford are two different things. I’m
afraid there’s only enough funds available for a part time
teacher in the afternoons. I’m looking for someone to teach the
children in grades 1-3 from about 1:00 – 4:00. That would give
these children three hours.”
Milly bit her lip. This news upset her. The children needed
all day to learn! “I hate that these children will only get
three hours, but I’m willing to take the job.” Milly smiled as
Mr. Griswald raised his eyebrows in an unspoken question. “I
was a teacher when I lived in Santa Fe…before I bought the
General Store,” she explained.
Milly watched as relief came over him. “Milly, that would be
WONDERFUL!” Steven declared. “Oh, you are a godsend!” He
smiled then. “I’m sure Lucas and Mark McCain would agree with
Milly smiled. She hoped Lucas and Mark thought that highly of
her! Everyone in North Fork knew she and Lucas had courted
while she lived here. Then, Milly frowned. “What is it,
She bit her lip. “Well…I just hate that these children are
getting only three hours. I wish there was something…” She
stopped when Mr. Griswald shook his head.
“Some of the parents care enough to help the children at home,
but others just send them to get them out from underfoot.”
Steven wrinkled his brow as he thought. “I tell you what…do
you think you could give these children assignments they could
work on at home during the mornings? We could send notes home
on the first day explaining our situation to the parents…those
that understand and care anyhow. For the others, I don’t trust
the parents to see that their studies are done. For those
children, I’ll monitor their work in the morning. That way they
are still getting a full day’s worth of work. What do you say?”
Milly smiled as she batted tears from her eyes. “I say that
would be wonderful! Just wonderful!” It wasn’t the perfect
solution, but it would be better than just learning them three
hours a day.
“Well then…” Steven picked up his cup. “When would you be able
Milly leaned forward in her chair. “Is Monday too soon?” She
couldn’t keep the excitement from her voice.
“Monday?” Mr. Griswald gasped. “Don’t you need some time to
Milly chuckled. “Well, I’m not sure what my future plans are at
the moment…Living arrangements, that is. I’m staying at the
hotel until I decide what I’m going to do.” She sighed. “And I
don’t want to see these children go another day without a proper
education. I’ll be ready to start Monday afternoon.” Suddenly,
Milly gasped and threw a hand over her mouth. “Oh my…I didn’t
even think that…Of course, you’ll have to put this before the
school board first.”
“I’m sure your teaching won’t be a problem with the school
board.” Mr. Griswald stood. “Especially since Lucas McCain is
head of the school board.” His eyes crinkled as he smiled.
“They’ll be meeting again on Friday and I’ll have them
officially vote you as the assistant teacher.” Milly heard the
confidence in his voice. But then he frowned. “You will need a
place to teach.”
Milly felt joy in her heart. She so loved children and couldn’t
wait to get back to teaching them! “Oh, don’t you worry,
Steven, I’ll have everything ready come 1:00 Monday afternoon!”
That, she was quite sure of!
Lucas and Mark walked into the church Sunday morning. Lucas
hadn’t seen Milly since he dropped her off exhausted at the
hotel on Friday. The church was quite crowded that day so Lucas
suggested he and Mark should sit in the back and catch up with
Milly later. But just as Reverend Gathers came in to start the
service, Lou stood up and waved to Lucas. “Over here, Lucas!
We saved your seats!” she yelled. Mark and Lucas looked at
each other and laughed. She was her own chipper self! Lucas
slowly made his way through the crowd as Mark followed close
behind. He laughed as Lou shifted Milly on the other side of
her so she and Lucas could sit beside each other. Mark took a
seat beside his father.
After church, Lou announced she had dinner almost ready. She
had explained to Milly earlier that morning that she, Lucas,
Mark, and Micah always ate Sunday dinner together, and this was
no exception. Lou and Milly hurried over to the hotel to get
things ready. The men lagged behind.
As they walked into the dining room, Lucas saw Milly come out of
the kitchen. He smiled at her as she carried a large platter of
meat. He hurried forward and took the platter from her. “Oh,
let me get that for you, Milly.” He sat it down where she told
him to. Then Lucas looked around to see how many people were in
the dining room. He was surprised to see there was nobody else
in hearing distance. Then he smiled at her. “Hi.”
“Hi.” Milly looked up at Lucas, happy to finally have a moment
“I’m sorry I didn’t come into town last night. Mark and I had…a
lot to talk about,” Lucas explained.
“I understand. After Friday, I needed some time to recuperate.”
Lucas gave her a short laugh. Then he looked down at the hat in
his hands. “Milly, I apologize. I had no right to keep you out
“I’m not complaining, Lucas. I enjoyed every minute of it: from
seeing the look on your face when you answered my knock to
falling asleep on your shoulder. It was all worth it.”
“Good.” Their eyes sparkled as they held a gaze.
Milly started to speak. “Lucas, I…”
“Hey Pa! Are you gonna cut that roast today or what?” Mark
suddenly hollered out.
Lucas could kick his son! Couldn’t he see he was busy? “I’m
coming, son.” He started to turn away, but stopped as his eyes
again locked with Milly’s. He softly brushed the back of his
hand against Milly’s cheek. His heart beat so hard that he
thought she could hear it. “Mil, I need to talk to you after
lunch…just the two of us.” He thought his voice was shaking,
but he wasn’t sure.
Milly nodded. “I’ll go with you as soon as the kitchen is
“Lucas, you want me to cut the meat today?” Micah asked. His
tone of voice told Lucas he was enjoying this very much.
Lucas turned his head slightly from Milly’s as he answered.
“No! I’ll cut the meat, Micah!” He answered in a frustrated,
warning voice. Then he turned back to Milly. “Can I have you
the rest of the day after that?” They just looked into each
other’s eyes as Milly smiled. That’s exactly what she wanted.
Lucas nodded. “Alright, then I give you permission to help Lou
with the dishes.” Then quickly he turned from Milly. He pulled
out a chair for her, then pushed it in after she sat down. Then
he looked sternly at Mark with raised eyebrows.
“Huh?” Mark teased him back. “Oh!” he answered after he saw
his father press his lips together. He stood and moved to the
empty seat across from his father and Milly so Lucas could sit
down beside the woman he hoped would soon become his fiancée.
After lunch, Lucas and Micah sat at the table drinking coffee.
Mark had long ago gained his father’s permission to be excused
so he could go find Freddie and the boys. “But you behave
yourself!” Lucas ordered. “I’d hate to throw you in jail!”
“Lucas!” Milly was just about to go back into the kitchen after
filling the men’s cups with one final round of coffee. She
stared at Lucas with wide eyes. Then she shook her head as she
disappeared into the kitchen.
Micah turned. “I thought you wrote her about everything.”
“Not about that, Micah.” Lucas lifted an eyebrow as he glanced
at Micah over his cup. “And don’t you tell her either! If I
want Milly to know I’ve put Mark in jail to teach him a lesson,
I’ll let her know!”
“Oh.” Micah nodded in understanding.“ I guess letting her know
would sorta put a damper on your evening.” Micah grinned.
“You…do intend on uh…popping the question tonight?”
Lucas sat down his coffee cup as he stared hard at his best
friend. “That, my friend, is none of your concern!” Micah
continued grinning at his friend. He could tell by the way
Lucas was acting that tonight was indeed “the night.” Lucas was
getting tired of seeing that stupid grin on his friend’s face.
As he lifted his cup back to his lips, he said, “Don’t you have
a job to do?” Micah stood up as he laughed and walked out
without saying another word.
“Oh!” Micah turned from the door at the sound of Lucas’s voice.
“When you’re doing your…uh….Marshalling and you just ‘happen’
to run into Mark and go fishing, tell him to get home in time to
do the evening chores.”
Micah grinned. “Just don’t keep her out too late, my friend.”
Micah said as he nodded. “Lou will take a stick to you.” Lucas
shook his head as Micah walked out.
It was another 45 minutes before Milly finally came out and
announced she was ready to go. Lucas reached for her hand after
he saw a stern warning in Lou’s eyes. He was glad she, for once,
kept her mouth closed. But that look told him everything he
needed to know. He was to bring her home at a decent hour
The only talking he wanted to do was with this beauty beside
But talking wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be. As they
strolled down Main Street arm-in-arm, several North Fork
citizens stopped to welcome Milly back. Though Lucas was proud
to be courting such a popular young lady and Milly enjoyed all
the greeters, he knew he had a job to get done and they would
never get to Miller’s Pond if they stayed on Main Street. So,
Lucas finally grabbed her arm and quickly pulled her around a
building so they could be alone. They continued on their walk
to the pond quietly and alone. Milly couldn’t help giggling at
his impatience of having her to himself. She had no idea what
was about to take place.
After they were seated by the pond, Milly watched as Lucas
became really quiet. He loosened his tie and started taking
deep breaths. She studied him as he sat looking out over the
waters with his arms wrapped around his knees.
She broke the silence that had fallen between them. “I talked
to Mr. Griswald yesterday.” Lucas turned and looked at Milly
with a question in his eyes. “He can use an assistant. This
town’s growing, and there’s lots of children who need help.
I’ll be assisting in the afternoons with the younger children.
I start Monday afternoon.”
Lucas was a bit taken aback by this news. He saw her eyes
dancing with exceeding joy as she told him about her
conversation with Steven the day before. His heart warmed as he
noticed the passion for children in her heart. Her words and
passion to teach children made him love her that much more.
“So, you think it’ll be okay, Lucas? Do you?” Milly asked
excitedly as she smiled into his eyes.
Lucas raised his eyebrows as he realized he hadn’t heard the
last part of what she had said. He was trying to come up with a
way to spill out that four worded question that he wanted to ask
her. “Will what be okay?”
“Lucas! Haven’t you heard a word I said?” Milly chided him.
“I’m sorry, honey…I have a lot on my mind tonight. I…” Lucas
cleared his throat as he turned to her. “Okay, you have my full
attention.” He tried to sound convincing. He smiled into her
eyes and thought to himself not that she didn’t before… “Is what
“For me to go ahead and start working with the children tomorrow
instead of waiting for the school board to vote.” Milly
repeated, a bit upset that he hadn’t heard her the first time.
“Steven said he figures it would be fine seeing as how I’m
pretty good friends with the president of the school board.”
She smiled and waited for a snide remark from the man she
But instead, she discovered that she DIDN’T have his undivided
“Oh…That…That’s great!” Lucas declared enthusiastically. “I
um…” Lucas swallowed nervously. “I…”
He still hadn’t heard what she said. From the look on his face,
he looked like he was about to tell her he was dying. “Is
something wrong, Lucas?” Her voice held concern.
Lucas laughed nervously. There was nothing wrong yet, but he
was trying to remind his heart not to beat through his chest…at
least until after he got the question past his lips. It was a
simple question with four easy words to say, yet he couldn’t
seem to get them past his lips. He remembered back to another
proposal he had to suffer through years before. “You know…when I
was courting Margaret, I proposed to her twice.”
“She said no the first time?” Milly teased. But her heart
started racing at the word “proposed.”
“No. I was delirious with fever.” Lucas laughed nervously as
he looked up at her.
Milly threw a hand to her chest and giggled. “Oh, you are
“No!” Lucas laughed. He was beginning to feel a bit better now
that he had started the conversation. Surely she had picked up
on what the conversation was about. “I came down with malaria .
She nursed me day and night – never left my side. I asked her
to marry me.” Lucas laughed. “She sure wasn’t happy after I
recovered, when she found out I didn’t remember doing it! Of
course, I was sort of relieved when she told me because I did
want to marry her. I figured that was a good deal since I
probably wasn’t nervous when I asked.” Lucas smiled when he saw
the look on Milly’s face. He felt better about asking, feeling
more confident she would accept his proposal. “But she made me
ask her again. She said a man’s proposal isn’t worth anything
if he can’t remember it.” He cocked his head to one side as he
studied her. “Of course, I wasn’t too nervous since I knew what
her answer would be.”
Milly quietly smiled. Her eyes were already shining with tears.
Her heart raced. She knew what was about to happen…well, she
HOPED she knew what was about to happen and she already had the
three letter answer on the edge of her tongue.
Lucas’s hands shook as he grabbed her hands and lifted them. He
sat just in front of her as he stared intensely into her eyes.
He couldn’t stop his heart as it raced out of control.
“Mildred Scott, will you…” he swallowed. He had gotten half
way there... Milly’s face broke out into a smile. He relaxed
more when he saw her encouraging smile. “Will you marry me?”
Even though she was expecting it and she had been ready for a
response, tears filled her eyes. She had been waiting to hear
those words ever since she came back. She lowered her head and
sniffed, unable to find her voice.
Lucas was concerned at her reaction. “I’m not that bad, am I?”
“No!” Milly declared with a smile. “No, Lucas…I…” Lucas’s
eyes grew wide at that two letter word she had spoken…twice! No
man likes hearing the word no after a proposal of marriage and
Lucas was no exception. Milly saw the pained expression on his
face and laughed as she gently ran a hand down his face. “Oh!
I’m not saying no to your proposal! I’m…” She cleared her
throat. “Would you…ask me that again?”
Milly laughed softly as she nodded. “Well, you said you
proposed to Margaret twice.” Milly raised her eyebrows.
Knowing what her answer would be made it pretty easy the second
time. “Mildred Scott, will you marry me?” His voice was
“Yes,” Milly whispered. She watched Luca’s face light up like a
thousand candles. ‘Yes, yes yes!” Milly declared as tears
filled her eyes.
“You will?” Lucas stood up and lifted her to her feet. “You
really will?” His heart danced now. He felt like he was
floating in the clouds.
“I really will!” Milly declared as her own heart soared. “I’ll
marry you, Lucas McCain!”
“Oh, Milly!” Lucas enveloped her into his arms and pressed his
lips to hers. She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave in
to the kiss. Happiness was in the midst of them as they became
engaged to be married. Their kiss deepened and lasted several
moments. Finally, Milly pushed against him and he groaned as he
released her lips from his. But he kept her in his arms, their
faces only an inch apart. “I love you,” he whispered as he ran
the back of his hand down her cheek. His eyes sparkled. “I
love you so much!”
“I love you, Lucas McCain.” Milly studied every inch of his
face. She had never seen him so happy as he was at this moment.
She lowered her head, suddenly unable to look into his face.
She blushed as her hand began to toy with the collar of his
shirt. Now that she was engaged to him, she knew the decision
she had made earlier wasn’t hers alone to make. She needed his
approval, and the mere thought of that sent butterflies in her
stomach. “What about…my job?” She asked quietly.
“What about it?” Lucas asked as he lowered his head and raised
his eyebrows at her. His voice was soft and soothing as he
spoke to her. “Is there any reason why you can’t be my wife,
Mark’s mother, and hold down a PART TIME job…which by the way
starts tomorrow?” Her eyes widened. Well, he HAD been paying
attention after all! Lucas kissed her softly. “Are we really
that much of a handful?”
“No.” Milly smiled. “I would love to take care of you and
Mark…and teach.” Mentioning Mark made her realize he had
probably gained his son’s approval before asking her. She
pulled away from Lucas a bit, suddenly concerned. “Is that…why
you didn’t come into town yesterday? Did Mark have trouble…”
The question died on her lips. She so wanted to be Mark’s
“No…no!” Lucas shook his head as he pulled her back close to
him. “Do you want to know what he said when I asked him about
making you my wife?” Milly shook her head. “He said it was
Milly smiled in relief. “That’s our boy!” She declared proudly.
Lucas gasped as he grabbed her shoulders as if he suddenly
realized they were REALLY going to be married. “I don’t want a
long engagement, Milly. I want to marry you soon. I’ve waited
a year to ask you this question. The minute you told me you
“Can I have a few days to think about it? Then we’ll decide.”
Right now, Milly’s head was spinning. She didn’t think she
could make any more important decisions tonight. Actually, she
couldn’t think of anything more important than the one she had
Lucas nodded. “Of course.” Then he breathed, “Oh, I love you!”
He tightened his arms around her once again and kissed her
passionately. Milly felt his love in his kiss.
After their lips parted, Lucas unwillingly took his arms away
from around her. Lucas turned as they silently started walking
back to town. Lucas reached his hand out to hers, and again the
small act of affection caused her insides to flutter.
The sun was going down as they walked into the hotel. Lou stood
behind the desk as Lucas and Milly made their way inside. She
hurried forward and placed her hands on her hips. “Well, it’s
good to see ye brought her back at a reasonable hour tonight!”
But her words went on deaf ears. She watched as Lucas and Milly
stood at the bottom of the stairs and smiled into each other’s
eyes. “Goodnight, Milly,” Lucas whispered as he lifted her hand
to his lips. He kissed it. As he lowered it, he watched a
tiny, sweet smile play at the corners of Milly’s mouth. “I
don’t know if I’ll be able to get into town tomorrow. Mark and
I are planting all week. But I’ll be back soon…As soon as I
can.” Lucas’s smile deepened. “You’ve made me so…happy!”
Milly turned and raised her eyebrows at Lou. Lou, suddenly
realizing she was invading the couple’s privacy, turned and
hurried back to the desk. Then Milly turned back around and
placed a hand on Lucas’s cheek. “I’m the one who’s happy. I’m
very happy.” Her smile deepened. “I love you, Lucas McCain.”
She didn’t care who was watching as she kissed him softly.
Then she turned and hurried up the stairs.
Lucas watched her until she disappeared. Then he slowly walked
out of the lobby. Lou, being Lou, had watched the whole thing.
She’d heard the private conversation. She could tell by the
way the couple acted that something big had happened that night.
She hurried around the desk and took the stairs two at a time.
Lucas smiled as he walked down the steps and stepped onto the
street. “She said yes!” Lucas declared suddenly. “She said
yes!” He knew he’d be sitting high in the saddle tonight!
The Wedding — Wedding Plans
This is a story based on the TV series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!
The Writer's Corner
Table of Contents
around The McCain Ranch